Microsoft is pushing for some big announcements at E3 this year. With the knowledge that they'll be showing off more details about Project Scorpio, there's a lot to be excited for as far as the future of gaming goes. The company has come a long way since it first dropped the Xbox One.
For those of you who prefer Microsoft over Sony, you know that there are plenty of games to sink your time and money into. Modern titles are slowly becoming more advanced and feature many impressive moments and mechanics that keep players coming back for more. When at their best, Xbox One games strike a beautiful balance between stunning visuals, tight gameplay, and a solid online experience.
Unfortunately, for every great game on the Xbox One, there is another that could use a lot more work and time to develop. Many games that have come out since the Xbox One's launch have disappointed a lot of consumers and received scathing scores on every review site that took the time to play them. At their worst, Xbox One games deserve to be ignored, burned, or never spoken of ever again.
If you're looking into getting an Xbox One (or need some new games for yours), you should know which ones to stay away from and which ones are worth the hefty price tags. Here are 10 Xbox One games to avoid and 10 you should play ASAP.
20 Avoid: Recore
As you'll see on this list, there were many Xbox One games that had a lot of potential when they were announced. Recore is one of those games. When details were first dropped, it seemed that the game would combine all of the best elements from a Mega Man and Metroid Prime game in one package. Because of this, there was a lot of hype surrounding this title.
As some of you know, Recore didn't live up to the bar that it set for itself. While there are some truly inspiring moments, Recore is plagued with repetitive mechanics, an iffy story, and gameplay that never reaches the heights that it promises. While the premise itself is interesting enough to get players hooked, the execution is far from what Recore could've been. That said, if you can get a nice deal on this game, it wouldn't be the worst purchase for your Xbox One.
19 Play: Forza Horizon 3
There are a lot of racing games that take a realistic approach to the genre. There's Need for Speed, Project Gotham Racing, Gran Turismo, and so much more. However, it seems that one series has managed to rise above the rest with their most recent entry. You all know that I'm talking about Forza Horizon 3.
This game refines the racing genre and takes it to new heights. There's a fantastic progression system, a plethora of cars to choose from, and so much more. Perhaps the greatest achievement of Forza Horizon 3 is how gorgeous the game is. You'll be cruising across the coasts of Australia and crowded cities of various countries in no time. All the while, you'll have the greatest sense of immersion all the way through. There's also Hot Wheels DLC for the game.
18 Avoid: Ryse: Son of Rome
Nowadays, there are many gamers who refuse to play anything that has sub par graphics. They always want the next gaming engine to fuel every individual blade of grass, and see the sweat coming off of your character's shoulder. However, graphics don't make a game and if you don't believe me, then give Ryse: Son of Rome a shot.
One of the earliest releases for the Xbox One, Ryse: Sone of Rome sought to establish just what the console was capable of. Some impressive visuals were littered at every corner, making for a cinematic experience. Yet Ryse is bogged down by less than average hack and slash gameplay. It's clear from the first play session that the creators spent more time on the visuals than actually making a good game. You'll be doing the same actions in the same way until you're done with the campaign, leaving little motivation to ever pick up Ryse.
17 Play: Rare Replay
There's only one thing greater than a fantastic game: 30 fantastic games. The developer Rare has had an excellent track record over their long history after leaving Nintendo. Because of this, Microsoft put together some of their greatest hits into one package for the Xbox One.
Gears of War, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Viva Pinata, and Battletoads are just a few of the great titles you'll see in this package. Rare is an excellent developer, and you're always guaranteed a quality experience with their games. The only downside to Rare Replay is that it doesn't exclude Rare's work with Nintendo, such as Donkey Kong Country. Other than that, the entire game is a solid buy, featuring amazing titles with an extremely cheap price tag. You can find this title for about $30 maximum. For those of you mathematicians out there, that's only a measly $1 per game.
16 Avoid: Crimson Dragon
Riding a dragon in an arcade shooter format sounds like something legends are made of, but Crimson Dragon proves that even with all of the great pieces, people can still screw up a puzzle. This download only title for the Xbox One came out to a mixed reception at best. Since then, nobody remembers that it ever existed.
Crimson Dragon at its core is a rail shooter. You'll be flying on a predetermined path where you'll aim your fire breath at multiple foes to take them down. Apart from a painful grind system, the game doesn't do much outside of its core concept. There are boss levels where you're allowed to fly as freely as you want, but these stages are clunky and difficult to control. The graphics of Crimson Dragon also leave much to be desired, featuring bland visuals and dull textures from start to finish. Spend your money elsewhere.
15 Play: Overwatch
Odds are that you've heard of Overwatch by now. To tell you the truth, there's a good reason for that. While Overwatch does take a lot of the same ideas and mechanics from Team Fortress 2, it adds its own differences to the mix and makes the concept more interesting.
Blizzard crafted another hit with this game. Featuring a much more diverse cast than its inspiration, Overwatch requires much more strategy and thought than just about any other shooter game in existence. While the modes are about as standard as you'd expect, it's how players work together and approach each objective that makes the game as popular as it is today. The game is currently celebrating its one-year anniversary and, in that time, it has rocketed into one of the most favored games of all time. And it's on Xbox One.
14 Avoid: Halo: Spartan Assault
We all know the appeal of mobile games. While they're bite-sized titles that serve as excuses to spend more time on your smartphone, they can be brilliant games that are great distractions. Halo Spartan Assault can, more or less, fit into this category. While it needed some refining before it was released on Windows OS, it was still a fair success.
However, when it was announced that the game would be making the jump to Xbox One, there were some raised eyebrows. Unfortunately, the skeptics were right in the end. Halo: Spartan Assault could've used a lot more work before coming out on the latest Microsoft powerhouse. Boring and tedious gameplay plagues this shooter, as there is no variety to any missions and it's not the most polished experience. The only reason the game got as much attention as it did was because it was given the Halo brand.
13 Play: Halo 5: Guardians
Ever since Bungie dropped out of the Halo series to work on Destiny, there was some interest as to who would carry on the torch of Master Chief. It was eventually announced that 343 Industries would be the ones in charge of the series in the future. They debuted with Halo 4, but truly reinvented the wheel with Halo 5: Guardians.
Halo 5: Guardians takes the established Halo formula and amps up the speed and pacing of the gameplay. Sprinting is a feature that every Spartan gets and the guns are now more powerful and dangerous than before. Couple that with a ledge-hopping mechanic and short-distance thrusters, and you've got a fine multiplayer experience. Halo 5 isn't perfect though, as its campaign falls a bit short of greatness at times. However, it more than makes up for it with its tight gameplay and phenomenal Forge system. We're excited to see what 343 does with Halo 6.
12 Avoid: LocoCycle
Racing games are a dime a dozen these days, and developers will often try to reinvent the wheel with the hopes of getting themselves recognized. At least, that was the intent behind the game LocoCycle. Unfortunately for the developers, the game fell flat before it even landed.
LocoCycle has a fantastic premise. Instead of controlling somebody riding a bike, you control the bike, who is dragging the rider on the road. You flip around to perform some combat and race across several environments. Sounds fun, right? Well, it would be, if LocoCycle brought new ideas together in terms of gameplay. If you fight a group of enemies, expect to go through the exact same battle later in the game. To top it all off, LocoCycle is plagued with visuals that make it look like a game out of the PS2 era.
11 Play: Sunset Overdrive
There are a handful of developers where you're almost always guaranteed a good game. We've already discussed Rare, but another one of these is Insomniac Games. Originally a company that did work only for Sony and the PlayStation (Spyro the Dragon, a Ratchet and Clank, and the Resistance series), they put together an amazing experience for the Xbox One with Sunset Overdrive.
Sunset Overdrive features a hipster character who uses wacky and over the top weapons to take down all kinds of monsters in a particular section of town. As with most Insomniac games, Sunset Overdrive takes this premise and rockets it to an eleven. Featuring crazy monsters to fight and a cel-shaded art style, Sunset Overdrive is guaranteed to be a game that passes the test of time. It's also further proof that Insomniac needs to experiment with other game titles in the future.
10 Avoid: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a fairly lackluster film, but there have been games based off of superhero movies that have surpassed their source material. Sadly, this wasn't the case with this game. The Amazing Spider-Man 2, on PS4 and Xbox One is worth your investment just as much as the movie is. Even if you're a diehard Spider-Man fan, there are other games you should check out.
While The Amazing Spider-Man 2 features one of the best swinging mechanics in any game starring the wall crawler, that's all that can be said about the game's merits. Combat is slow and dull, the story is uninteresting and vague, and the graphics are nowhere near the level that they should be. Spider-Man has yet to have a truly astounding game and it looks like we'll have to keep waiting until Insomniac gives it a shot on the PS4.
9 Play: Gears Of War 4
Gears of War isn't for everyone, but even as someone who doesn't like first-person shooters, it's hard to deny that Gears of War 4 is one of the best games on the Xbox One. It takes place 25 years after the original trilogy. In it, Marcus instead has to mentor his son and his son's friends to battle the Locusts. It's a solid premise and one very similar to a certain Star Wars movie.
Thankfully, the gameplay is familiar, yet different. The cover-based shooting formula is all but perfected in Gears of War 4. The war against the Locusts now boasts perfected mechanics, rocking visuals, and an intense soundtrack that compliments the series all too well. The game also introduces a host of new weapons that not only add a new element to the franchise, but function nicely with the tried and true style of play.
8 Avoid: Zoo Tycoon
Zoo Tycoon is one of those games that seems boring on paper, but is really exciting once you get yourself playing it. Managing your own business while witnessing the kinds of animals you can bring into the fold is pure magic. Microsoft decided to capitalize on the franchise's success by bringing the series to the Kinect, but it didn't stick the landing.
Zoo Tycoon for the Xbox One Kinect takes everything you love about the series and tosses it out the window. Gone is the beautiful freedom of crafting your zoo the way you want, and you're instead relegated to pre-made paths. There is less animal variety all around and you have to struggle if you want to navigate through all of the menus. Zoo Tycoon robs the series of all of the magic and takes away all of the fun. Stick with the PC games that came out several years ago.
7 Play: Ori And The Blind Forest
Metroid established a formula that would later be imitated by many other games in the future, like Steamworld Dig and Shantae. One of the more recent games to follow this formula is Ori and the Blind Forest. It offers a lot of value for those who are fans of the Metroidvania style while bringing up a new premise that is enticing for people new to the genre.
If you're not familiar with how a Metroidvania works, Ori and the Blind Forest will fill you in nicely. You navigate through a large 2D space, learning now abilities and secrets along the way. As you gain more skills, you can access more areas that were previously unreachable. The main difference here is that Ori and the Blind Forest accomplishes this by never making you feel like you're closed off. You have just enough freedom to find new things while still wanting to advance your character. That's without mentioning how downright gorgeous the game is.
6 Avoid: Coffin Dodgers
Mario Kart set a beautiful trend in the gaming world by creating the genre of kart racers. Unfortunately, many other developers would try to recreate this formula for their own success. While there have been some amazing attempts at this, like with Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, there are others that aren't nearly as good. Coffin Dodgers is one of those games.
Do you know why everyone hates the blue shell in Mario Kart? Because it's practically unfair and will rob you of the position you got by exerting pure skill. This is the entire premise of Coffin Dodgers. It's all too easy to get hit by something dumb and go from first place to dead last. The game also features a visual style that belongs on the PS2 (and that's me being generous about it). While the concept itself might be wacky, the execution leaves much to be desired.
5 Play: Titanfall 2
Many times, developers will have a great idea and create titles that are simply reaching for greatness, but never attaining it. That was the story of Titanfall. While it featured some unique mechanics with clambering over environments and hopping into powerful mechs, there were some campaign flaws and gameplay stutters that prevented it from being truly excellent.
Thankfully, Respawn learned their lesson and decided to go all out when crafting Titanfall 2. This game grounds the series in much-needed lore while refining the combat experience to something worthy of a current gen console. Titanfall 2 requires that players get used to the fast environment of the game but never letting it get the better of them. Hopping into a mech has never been so satisfying than with this entry in the series. And as the icing on the cake, the single-player is worth trying out and completing.
4 Avoid: Lovely Planet
Back to the whole graphics argument, there are times when developers will use different art styles to give their titles lasting appeal to make sure the game is remembered for many years to come. Other times, developers will use an art style as a way to not have to put as much time into their game. While I can't speak for the developers, it's hard not to think that was the case with Lovely Planet.
It's not hard to imagine what Lovely Planet was going for. Its polygonal art style combined with the gameplay of a first-person shooter makes for an interesting combination, but it's one that's never fully realized in the game. You'll be hopping around a low-res environment, taking down enemies that are nothing more than 3D shapes with eyes. It's not exciting to play and even less exciting to watch.
3 Play: Killer Instinct
One of two fighting games on this list, Killer Instinct, in its purest form, is like a Microsoft all-stars fighting game. As cash-grabby as this might sound, the game itself is solid, features everything you'd want as far as mechanics go, and includes many fan favorite characters that give just the right amount of familiarity.
The best part about Killer Instinct when you compare it to other fighting games is that it's free. Granted, if you want to get the newer characters, you'll have to drop a few bucks. But it's never a price that seems downright unreasonable. Despite being a free-to-play title, Killer Instinct never shoves microtransactions down your throat. Halo's Arbiter and even a Battletoad are playable characters in this game, and that makes it all the more desirable in the long run.
2 Avoid: Fighter Within
As games advance, we are slowly moving in the direction of VR. The idea of your body serving as the controller is a purely interesting experience and something that is very enticing to the average consumer.
Xbox started to get on the train first with the Kinect. Unfortunately, the idea didn't work very well for the 360, so they tried their best to refine it with the Xbox One. Furthermore, they tried to bust in guns blazing by creating a fighting game for the peripheral. Fighter Within is a fighting game where you control your characters. The huge problem with the game, though, is that the game is horribly buggy and doesn't control well by any stretch of the imagination. If it were able to control effectively, the game would be much better. Sadly, Fighter Within will always sit at the bottom of the Kinect pile.
1 Play: Injustice 2
Injustice: Gods Among Us was Netherrealm's apology for creating Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe. The game features the combo-based combat that the developer is known for, while giving it a style that distances it from the Mortal Kombat series. The campaign also held a gripping story that still stands as one of the best in any comic book media.
Four years after Gods Among Us came out, Netherrealm has perfected the formula with Injustice 2. The newest game on this list, Injustice 2 takes everything that was great about the original game and puts it on full display. Featuring a bigger and more diverse roster of DC all-stars, there is plenty for even mere comic fans to get excited about. That's not all though- Injustice 2 includes another gripping narrative, a decent upgrade system to keep people playing, and fantastic visuals from start to finish. Simply put: it's one of the most well-presented fighting games ever created.